Amid opposition, AP identifies 2000 acres for N-plant

Amid opposition, AP identifies 2000 acres for N-plant

Andhra Pradesh chief minister Chandrababu Naidu.

The Andhra Pradesh government has identified 2000 acres of land in four villages for the construction of a 6000 MW Nuclear Power Plant near Kavali in Nellore district.

Russia will be building this plant at an estimated cost of Rs 20 crore per megawatt (MW). According to sources, the state government proposal has been cleared by the Union government.

The Nellore district administration has identified the land in four villages - Chennaya Palem, Tummalapalli, Alluru and Ramapuram - between Kavali and Ramayapatnam in Prakasam district.

“Out of these, the first three villages have been cleared by the Centre,” district revenue officials told DH.

READ (DH Exclusive): India to give Andhra Pradesh site to Russia for N-plant

“Teams from National Institute of Rock Mechanics (NIRM) have collected soil samples from these villages. However, there is no official confirmation about the final site where the NPP will be built,” said Venkatesam, Mandal Revenue Officer, Kavali.

Activists oppose

Opposing the setting up of the nuclear power plant, Human Rights Forum (HRF) general secretary V S Krishna said: “Setting up of nuclear power plants is a crime against the future generations. There are umpteen safer alternatives compared to nuclear power. Even the developed countries are rejecting nuclear power." Members of HRF, which has opposed the plan to set up a plant at Kovvada too, visited the villages shortlisted for the Kavali plant.

The CPM, which led a wave of agitation against the Kovvada plant, has warned the state government against going for a nuclear power plant at Kavali.

“It doesn’t matter if the plant is being built by Russia. We oppose nuclear power in principle," said Ch Rajagopal, CPM Nellore district general secretary. Any mishap in a nuclear plant could wipe out life in and around a 150 km radius, Rajagopal added.

The Kovvada debacle

The US-based Westinghouse Electric Company (WEC) was supposed to build the Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited's (NPCIL) biggest nuclear power plant in Kovvada and its surroundings with a capacity of 9,540 MW with six reactors of 1,593 MW each. Even as WEC went through bankruptcy proceedings, the district administration has gone ahead with the land acquisition.

Kovvada Nuclear Park former project director G Venkata Ramesh recently told reporters in Tirupati that 2000 acres has been handed over to the project authorities and a compensation of Rs 18 lakh per acre has been paid. Construction work was supposed to begin this year and production by 2024.

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